Friday, September 7, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 7 ,2007) - The Bosnian Parliament ratified the Central European Free Trade Agreement(CEFTA).CEFTA regulates a single free-trade zone for the countries of the Southeastern Europe.

Bosnia signed CEFTA on December 19,2006 in Bucharest, but until now the Bosnian Parliament delayed the ratification in the face of criticism from the local agricultural lobby.

Bosnian farmers are worried that CEFTA’s provisions for removing customs dues may further weaken their position in local and regional markets.

However, international organizations, especially the Office of the international community's high representative in Bosnia, have been insisting that Bosnia must live up to its commitments and ratify the agreement.

“The Council of Ministers and the entity governments will do everything to help those who might need help because of the implementation of CEFTA,” said Bosnia's Prime Minister, Nikola Spiric.

Stressing that failure to ratify CEFTA would have much greater negative consequences than getting on with it, Spiric stressed that the Bosnian state and Bosnia’s two largely-autonomous entity governments will neutralize the possible negative effects of CEFTA through future regulations and legislation related to customs tariffs and imports.

While ratifying the agreement after a long debate, the Bosnian Parliament also passed a resolution, giving the Bosnian state and entity governments 60 days to come up with a package of measures that would help Bosnian farmers in the new conditions created by CEFTA ratification.

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